We want kids playing sports, engaged in physical activity. The reasons are plentiful, most of them covered here at Sports Doing Good multiple times. Unfortunately, each year we are seeing a growing number of kids are unable to pursue their athletic aspirations due to preventable sports injuries, improper treatment and inadequate training. Playing is one thing. Playing in a way that increases the probability that you will be able to play 20 or 30 years later is ideal. The love of sports should not end before you finish high school.
STOP Sports Injuries, a campaign founded by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and supported by other well-known national organizations, provides great resources on youth sports injury prevention including tip sheets, videos, podcasts, and more. You can find those resources by clicking here.
A key stat from the organization is nearly 50% of all injuries sustained by middle school and high school students during sports are overuse injuries. There is an inclination, often fostered by parents, that kids should be maximizing their practice time to elevate their game to be recognized by elite travel teams/clubs, scouts, or college recruiters. However, the downside is that a number of these young people are training in a way that confuses quantity with quality. We are seeing various “smart play” and child-welfare advocates trying to fix that problem. The STOP Sports Injuries campaign is surely another effort that can move us in the right direction.